Evaluation Orientations and Working-Family Interplay Trajectories Among Different Cohorts in Transitional China: Evidence from Sequence Analysis

Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Guanghui PAN, Brown University, USA
This paper aims to quantitatively “thickly describe” the interplay of work and family trajectories for Chinese people over 45 years old. Using China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) life course survey in 2014, by retrospectively tracing the family status and working status for the respondents from 16 years old to 45 years old, this study applies to the two most common sequence analysis methods (Multichannel Sequence Analysis [MCSA] and Global Interdependent Multidimensional Sequence Analysis [GIMSA]), and clusters the patterns of the working status and family status into five categories. We find that: the dichotomy urban and rural working statuses and the divergent number of kids after marriage are the criteria of clustering in each dimension of working and family status; patterns of working and family interplay for elder Chinese residents during their 16 to 45 years old are significantly influenced by the gender, birth of cohort, political label (red, black, or others in the 1950s), parental education level, and respondents’ own educational level. Compared to the research (Aisenbrey and Fasang 2017) on the interplay of working and family status in Germany and the United States, we believe that the patterns in China are profoundly unique due to the influence of certain “socialism” and “post-socialism” policies. Heterogeneities of the working-family sequences among cohorts reveal the impact of the policies directly.